Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wednesday Bentos

Bentos, bentos, bentos. I have become obsessed with making them. Here are the ones I make for Wednesday, mainly just of our favorite foods.

Hubby's bento with Morning Star veggie hot dog rabbits, a cup of mustard, pita bread, and edamame on top. And then apples, cheese, brown rice crackers, and peanut butter. Also some starburst candies mixed in. Az said that this was his favorite bento I have made so far.

And here is my bento with basically the same thing but no crackers (no room!).

Also, I did make the deadline to join Wardrobe Refashion for June. I am pumped to start making things, already have my first idea cooking.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More cupcakes

So I finished the cupcakes for Amelie. I had to adjust the pattern a little otherwise I was getting a bubble butt bottom and they would not sit up. I also made another one that is not pictured for my friend's daughter who is turning 5 in July. Hubby kept on saying all weekend, "Are you still making cupcakes?" Yes and now I just have to put them away until Ame is a bit older and can play with them. I am thinking I am going to move onto making her some felt strawberries next.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tuesday's Bentos

Our refrigerator has gone on overdrive and decided to freeze everything. Yuck. So we had to toss a bunch of perfectly fine food because it was beyond edible but I tried to scrape together some bentos from what remained.

This is the hubby's. On the top carrots, Italian dressing, wasabi peas, and strawberries. On the bottom, broccoli, edamame, and tofu noodle casserole with carrot stars.

Mine is pretty much the same except I added kumquats to the top.

I sometimes struggle with what to put in a bento since you really have to think out what will fit and what will look good. But last night, being the true nerd that I am, came up with a bunch of ideas on paper to help me out. Also, I am really considering making bentos for myself for each meal. They really make you think about what you are going to eat and make you portion control your food. Dinners around here are normally "fend for yourself" since hubby and I have different tastes. And it would be nice just to grab a pre-made meal from the fridge every day. Otherwise I get low on time and just grab something fast (read: unhealthy).

Monday, May 28, 2007

New Mission - Wardrobe Refasion

So I was reading Yellow Owl's blog and stumbled upon this Adorn article. Which led me to this - Wardrobe Refashion - the best idea under the sun. You pledge to not buy any new clothes for your term (2,4, or 6 months). I emailed the administrator to join starting June 1st for two months. Even I am too late, I am going to do it anyway. I just had a huge clothing event in my closet where I went through everything and chucked a bunch of stuff. Anything that was worth saving, even just to cut up for fabric, got put aside of course. But that left me with a very sad empty little closet. I would do it even longer but I am jet setting to Hawaii in August and I cannot even imagine attempting to sew a bathing suit.

Friday, May 25, 2007

My cupcake

I know, I know. Everyone crochets cupcakes. But I am on this mission to sew or crochet a whole bunch or food items for my daughter to play with when she gets older. I had to try the pattern out to see what adjustments I would have to make and I have always wanted a cupcake pin cushion. If you are looking for maybe the cutest free patterns out there, check out Ana Paula's blog. She also sells patterns on Etsy. She is the first person I bought from *tear*.

The Soulful Home

I am featured on "The Soulful Home" - a wonderful blog by mosaico on etsy! Each week she asks other etsians to describe what makes their homes *home*. She also has great tips on just about everything concerning the home you keep. Not to mention her etsy shop which has the coolest switch-plates this side of the moon. Check it out!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Small project to help a friend

I do not really know if anyone follows soccer (or football as it is know in the rest of the world) but earlier today was the Champion's League final between Milan and Liverpool. Basically, if you do not follow soccer, it is the European soccer Super Bowl. My team, Arsenal, did not make it to the final but my friend Emily is a huge Liverpool supporter. She was *kinda* freaking out about it. So I made her this coffee/beer cozy for when she was at a local pub watching the game. I whipped it up in under an hour since I was pressed for time this morning. Unfortunately it did not bring her or her team luck and Liverpool lost 2-1. I tried.

Back to painting

It seems like it has been years since I painted. Oh wait, it has been years since I painted. And then the universe sent me some secondhand acrylic paints a month or so ago. Well I finally got in a mood to do something with them and here is the result:

It is on the smaller side, just under 7 x 5. It kinda got me giddy again for painting. Just how you start out with something in your head and then as the colors come out, things change and mold into what the painting wants to be. I added the ink the next day; I have a thing for astronomy so, well, constellations ended up in the sky.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bento Tuesday and why I hate Super Target

Hooray we went grocery shopping today! The only sad part is that we went to Super Target to do so. Don't get me wrong, I am a big Target fan in general. I mean I endured three years at corporate HQ because I love Target so much. But I cannot stand grocery shopping at Super Target and I just won't anymore. The reason I started in the first place was the fact that it was just as cheap or cheaper than any of the discount groceries around. And I got 10% off everything. But now with my discount gone, I can no longer see any reason to endure an hour of frustration every week. You simply cannot rely on what they are going to have in stock when you go. One time, they will have a unlimited amount of the organic baby carrots I like. Next two times I go, none. One time they will have Amy's frozen mac and cheese. Next time, it doesn't even have an empty space; it was like it was never there. Then, the next time they will have a whole freezer case of the mac and cheese. Arrrggg! It just creates a situation of having to make another trip to another store. So I am done. Finished. Over. And on to bentos...

So at said trip to Super Target, we tried to get fixings for spring rolls. We already had picked up the skins at a Asian grocery store but needed the innards. Of course they didn't carrots or mint so we settles with just tofu, Thai basil, lettuce, and rice noodles. They were still amazingly good, my new favorite thing to make. We also made extra for our lunch bentos

In addition on top there is a container of peanut sauce and soy sauce hanging out on a tiny bed of tofu. On the bottom, grapes and a little chocolate. The stars on the spring rolls are basil. The one pictured is for hubby. Mine is very similar but instead of tofu, I have a HB egg. Have I ever mentioned that I don't go anywhere during the day so that I require a boxed lunch? Nope, I make one just because: 1) it is fun and 2) it is great portion control for lunch time.

etsy artist feature, erinzam

I really believe in Etsy and other sites like Etsy. I believe in the fact that people participating in this craft revolution really deserve to make a living at what they love. I understand that not everyone is going to like my things but I really want people to see what amazing and talented artists are selling their work right now. Never before have I been compelled to contact an artist after seeing their work. However, after happening upon erinzam's etsy shop, I had to let her know how much I am in love with her work and ask if she would kindly answer some questions. Being an awesome person she agreed.

- Please tell a little about your self

I'm in limbo between the completion of graduate school and getting a real job. So, I spend most of my time making things. I'd like to see how long I can get away with this because it is really starting to grow on me. In a nutshell, I'm a designer, bookbinder and artist who loves Adobe software, paper, acrylic paint and thrift store finds.

- What is your background?

I grew up in a very small Kansas town. I continued my education in Kansas until I recently completed my master's degree in graphic design at Fort Hays State University. I studied painting and bookbinding there as well. In the meantime, I had some great opportunities to travel and study abroad. And now I'm here, still in Kansas, riding my bicycle to my studio every day and eating as much foreign food as I can get my hands on.

- What inspires you?

My number one inspiration is my husband. He is a designer and illustrator who is always creating something fantastic. Here's my shameless plug for his cool website at Next in line? Junk. I love discovering possibility in something that's pretty much worthless. I'm also very inspired by things that are well designed, whether by nature or by humans. Interaction with other people, particularly other artists, is a great inspiration as well.

- Who is/are your favorite artist(s)?

I love the work of many of the artists that I personally know, including my Mom and several of my friends. When it comes to famous people that you might have heard about, I particularly enjoy the work of Milton Glaser, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Dieter Roth, Frank Gehry, Stefan Sagmeister, and the typographers at Hoefler & Frere-Jones. There are hundreds of other artists that I admire, but I find it easier to relate to more contemporary work, mainly because of context.

- What is the best job you ever had? Worst job?

I don't know if it can get much better than working for myself! The worst? Anything that involves doing graphic design for large committees who can't make up their minds.

I want to thank Erin for taking the time to answer these questions. Not only does she have an amazing artist vision, she make hella sweet handmade books. Please be sure to also check out her website,

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday bento

It has been a crazy week. The hubby has been working hella hours trying to move like 30,000 books. So he hasn't been getting home until late which means I haven't had as much time for making bentos. But after today they will be all done moving so I made sure that he had a fun spiderman themed bento to celebrate

There is falafel patties on top with hummus for dipping and a slice of cheese. And on the bottom just grapes, a strawberry and some carrots. And did I mention that since he is working so much, there really hasn't been time to go grocery shopping? So the bento is kinda sparse.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Swap happy

So I'll admit it, I am crazy about swapping. There is nothing better than receiving a package of goodies that someone made for free. Well not free I guess. I put my own time and postal money into sending them something as well, but totally worth it. This afternoon I worked on nine ATCs for a swap through etsy hosted by electrikolor.

Then I am sending in ten gocco prints for another Etsy swap hosted by Magicjelly and Phoebe. This one I am a wee nervous about since I just starting using my gocco and the people who are participating are...well more than awesome. I guess I had better bring my "A" game, or as close as I can get :)

Spring time

We had a little visitor today to our patio, Mr. Squirrel.  I tried to get a better picture of him but he was cautious and scampered away.  Visit again soon Mr. Squirrel - I will take your picture!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Simple little project

So we don't have a nightstand next to our bed.  It would be impossible to have one since one side sits smack next to a wall and the other side has the closet door swing open right next to it.  Each night after writing my thoughts for the next day in my journal, I would have to set it on the floor which leaves it open in kitty cat territory.  See, she likes to eat everything.  Paper, plastic, cardboard.  Changing her litter box is an adventure into what crazy things we accidentally left about.  Since I am obsessed with my Jill Bliss journal - I was afraid it would succumb to her appetite.  I had received these two very cute hankies from my MIL last Christmas.  I sewed them together and put a little ribbon on top.  Then I put a small nail in the wall next to my side of the bed and viola!  A new little caddy for my journal.  Easy peasy pie.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Gocco fun for everyone!

So I did it, I got a gocco. It arrived on Wednesday but I haven't gotten to really play around with it until this weekend. It is amazing. Truly my new favorite thing. The only thing I am struggling with is how clean the master screens. My first one I totally messed up. I thought "hey - I'll not read any directions and just use some soap and water!" Wrong. The cardboard that holds everything together disintegrated faster than you could say gocco loco. Plus it the soap and water thing just doesn't work period. I guess that tube of gocco cleaner (that is in Japanese) just didn't pop out at me when I first looked through all the supplies. Oh well.

So here is my mess, which isn't even half of it. I hand prints strewn about the apartment like fall leaves on a lawn. Sorry for the poor lighting - it was the best I could get.

And here is the hubby helping out, he loves it too -

And here is one of the final results! I did some experimenting with printing on book paper which I had seen done before and I loved how it looked.

So basically I can't wait until next weekend to play again. But I need to figure out a way to have them dry with out covering every free inch of space in the house...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wednesday bentos!

Hooray our bento boxes arrived from Japan!  And to celebrate, why I just had to make some bentos right?

Here is the hubby's "snack" bento to compliment his Amy's Mac and Cheese: we have apples, grapes, and banana on top and then a mini spinach salad with Italian dressing, a chocolate, rice mini crackers, cheese and a 1/4 of a tofu and spinach sandwich.  He was saying how he is going to be made fun of for having a bunny bento.  But then I reminded his co-workers are his parents and they are the ones who introduced us to bentos.

  And here is my bento: prickly pear, grapes, carrots, and cucumbers in top and then a 1/2 tofu and spinach sandwich with a little pesto in the sauce box for spreading.  I also have a chocolate in the top.  Basically I wish I had time every night to make these.  I know I will get better as time goes on!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Another bento

So here is the bento I made for hubby last Friday.  I got some cute little rice shapers at the awesome United Noodle store near my house.  The little orange chunks are red curry Quorn.  Also there is cauliflower and rice crisps.  I can't wait until my bento boxes arrive from Japan - hopefully they will be here this week!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

ATCs to Jane in Australia

So I had a very nice lady from Australia request some ATCs with a farm animal theme. I traded for four really great cards from her including a 3D eye one that is so realistic, it scares me a bit

To gocco or not to gocco

That is the question that is driving me nuts.  I have seen so many amazing things made with the gocco that I feel compelled to get one myself.  But the $100 price along with another $50 shipping from Japan puts it a tad out of reach.  Plus the fact that hubby and I already do screen printing on t-shirts, I feel like it is a little redundant.  However the ease of printing and the fact that it is all self contained makes it easy to do in our little apartment.  Supposed according to, the newer versions will be available in the states at a major retailer this summer.   *sigh* - what to do...

Felt bento box and real bento boxes

So I am going a little crazy about bento boxes. The in-laws turned me on to them and after seeing some pictures with what can be done with them, I became hooked. So hooked in fact that for the May Craftster felt contest, I made a bento box

Starting at the 12 o'clock position and going clockwise - steamed potstickers and eggrolls, rice with nori flakes and a vegetables featuring carrots, cucumber and a lime, four sushi rolls, then seaweed salad with sesame seeds, and finally in the center, wasabi and pickled ginger.

all the little food items can be taken out

And here is my first attempt at a real bento boxes for me and my husband

his is one the left and includes
- 2 "spring rolls" with nori faces - not really spring rolls because we have no idea what we are doing. We bought soy wrappers by accident which proved to be hard to work with. Also we didn't have the right ingredients. But they tasted really good anyway!
- 2 rice balls - my first attempt at these so no filling - just rice
- Fried tofu and veggies
- Extra edamame

mine is on the right and is basically the same except that green exploding thing in the corner is a spring roll

I've made a couple more since but have no pictures. I really like the portion control aspect as well as the cheesy "fun" factor. Hubby likes that I am making a lunch for him. I am going to include some beer and a wife beater in his next one :)
We ordered some real bento boxes off of ebay - the containers we have now are boring. I hope they get here soon!